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ALLA BREVE

April 25, 1993|TIMOTHY MANGAN

"Changing Colors." Jim Self, tuba. Summit Records DCD 132. A local free-lance musician, Self has put together an ambitious collection of tuba works, all of which play against the stereotype of the instrument as elephantine and oafish. While Debussy's "Syrinx" performed on tuba might be a bit of a stretch for most listeners, Self's arrangements of Capuzzi's Concerto for Double Bass (for tuba and brass quintet) and, especially, Schumann's "Kinderscenen" (for tuba and piano) are surprisingly effective. Original works include Gunter Kochan's third-stream Seiben Miniaturen fur Vier Tuben, film composer Arthur B. Rubinstein's "Bruegel-Dance Visions" (a vivid depiction of four Bruegel paintings for tuba and small ensemble with synthesizer), and Self's own quirky and entertaining Courante (for trombone, saxophone and tuba). Fellow free-ancers are enlisted in supporting roles. His playing throughout is virtuosic, graceful and lyrical; his elegant way with the Halsey Stevens Sonatina is particularly noteworthy.

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